The Loft: Movie review

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Film: The Loft

Release date: Jan. 30

Studio: Anonymous Content

Grade: F

The term “unintentional laughter” is often used in other reviews about bad movies, but I never thoroughly understood what that meant until I saw The Loft. The film, directed by Erik Van Looy (The Memory of a Killer) is an “erotic psychological thriller,” or at least it’s labeled that way. Those are three words anybody could and would use to describe any movie that is much smarter, and that is certainly not The Loft.

The plot is the cast trying to figure out who murdered a naked blonde they found in the bed in the apartment they use to have conquests outside their marriages.

The movie’s main ensemble seems to answer the question of what happened to that lovable gang of children from any mid-80s to early ’90s kids flick. It stars Karl Urban (Walking with Dinosaurs) as the stereotypical “cool kid,” James Marsden (The Best of Me) as the clean-cut, morally just character and Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family, where he plays a lovable homosexual so well there is no way he can shake it off, even given the character of a misogynistic drunk). Here he plays the fat kid who has grown from being characterized solely by his love of food to now his love of booze and cheap sex.

Also in the film are Wentworth Miller (Stoker) as the nerd with social problems and Phillip, the coked-out wildcard of the group played by Matthias Schoenaerts (The Drop). The men are friends and – either through dialogue or one of the thousands of flashbacks – the movie never lets you forget it.

Each of these friends has qualities so predictable and unoriginal that the “twist” ending shouldn’t come as a surprise. These “twist endings” have become so typical of thrillers released in January that the bulk of the time watching this film was spent wondering how bad it was going to be.

It starts with, and intermittently cuts back to, a police interrogation of the friends before mixing in flashbacks at the loft. It then flashbacks to before the five men discover the naked, blood-soaked body in the bed. This is important note as the director, Erik Van Looy (the director of the Belgian version of The Loft, which was then titled simply Loft), presents his laziness while directing this film. He stops telling you how long ago the flash back was halfway through the movie.

But time is not a factor for these gentlemen.

It would be easy to make a list of moments that are incoherent, don’t add up to anything or are pointless character moments to show that this movie is bad, but the movie didn’t settle for easy storytelling, so neither will this reviewer.

In viewing The Loft, one could not help but be left with questions, not good questions that a good mystery movie should provoke, but questions like: Why would anyone buy a set of knives for a place where the sole intent is to get away from their wives? Wouldn’t anyone have the first thought, upon seeing a dead girl in their loft, to call the police? What was the point of Phillip being a coke addict?

The production company of The Loft is Anonymous Content – a fitting name, as no one would want their name attached to this project. The movie is 1 hour and 45 minutes. We find out who the girl in the bed is one hour into the movie, but this problem could have been solved if somebody had flipped the girl over to see her face. The movie should have been 45 minutes, which wouldn’t make it better, just less of a waste of time.

email: arts@ubspectrum.com